§ 157.14 REQUIREMENT FOR REMOVAL.
   (A)   General. Upon receipt of a completed application and verification on-site by the city, a permit may be issued for tree removal under any one of the following conditions:
      (1)   Trees located on building and construction sites as shown on city-approved plans must meet the minimum standard as defined in § 157.16.
      (2)   Non-nuisance trees located within 15 feet of a structure, excluding walls and fences, provided said trees are replaced elsewhere on the property if the minimum planting standards of the property are not otherwise met, in accordance with § 157.16.
      (3)   Nuisance trees located anywhere on the property.
      (4)   Historic trees shall not be removed in a developed single-family dwelling district without specific approval of the City Tree Board unless the following requirements are met: 1) the tree trunk or any portion of the tree trunk is located within 7-1/2 feet of an existing single-family residential structure or within 7-1/2 feet of a proposed single- family residential structure for which a permit has been submitted and approved by the city; 2) the site in question has five (5) additional canopy trees over the minimum number of plantings on site as outlined in § 157.16, not including the historic tree itself; 3) the historic tree is severely diseased, severely injured, dead, or is an immediate threat to health and public safety.
      (5)   Trees severely diseased, severely injured or dead.
      (6)   Trees that interfere with the construction or repair of public utilities, recreational and other public infrastructure.
      (7)   Undesirable trees, per § 157.14(B).
      (8)   Trees that have been approved by the City Manager or his/her designee and which shall be replaced elsewhere on the property subject to § 157.16.
      (9)   For new single-family residential/commercial, trees less than 6" caliper.
      (10)   For existing single-family properties, trees less than 12" caliper.
   (B)   Exemptions from permitting requirements.
      (1)    Under the preemption language in F.S. § 163.045, pruning, trimming or removal of a tree on residential property does not require a permit if the property owner obtains documentation from an arborist certified by the International Society of Arboriculture or a Florida licensed landscape architect that the tree presents a danger to persons or property. For trees removed in accordance with this section, no replacement tree is required.
      (2)   All trees and plants, within a licensed tree nursery, planted for harvest.
      (3)   Thinning of trees. A certified arborist or person who holds a degree in horticulture or forestry or a licensed landscape architect shall certify in writing the selective removal of existing trees to provide increased light and air circulation to support good forestry practices; for example, the number of healthy trees a given parcel will support.
      (4)   Personal consumption for firewood or arts and crafts for properties zoned A-1 (Agriculture) with a minimum lot size of three acres utilizing trees of less than 12-inch caliper.
      (5)   In the event that any tree shall endanger health or safety and require immediate removal without delay, such as, but not limited to, the cutting of emergency fire lanes by fire-fighting units, verbal authorization may be given by the City Manager and the trees removed without obtaining a written permit as herein required. Such verbal authorization shall later be confirmed in writing by the City Manager, and an after the fact arbor permit must be issued.
      (6)   Trees removed by the city or other governmental agency and which are located within a public road or drainage rights-of-way or permanent utilities or drainage easements or public park.
      (7)   Nuisance trees. Any trees considered invasive/exotic by the Florida Exotic Plant/Pest Council may be removed. https://www.fleppc.org/list/list. htm
      (8)   Criteria for measuring trees.
         (a)   For one- and two-family residential properties, trees that measure less than 12 inches at caliper may be removed without a permit. When remaining stumps are less than 12 inches above the ground, staff shall make a determination if the removed tree required a permit. For trees cut at ground level, a permit is not required for removal when the stump has a diameter of 15 inches or less.
         (b)   For all multi-family and non-residential properties, trees that measure less than six inches at caliper may be removed without a permit. When the remaining stumps are less than 12 inches above the ground, staff shall make a determination if the removed tree required a permit. For trees cut at ground level, a permit is not required for trees when the stump has a diameter of seven and one- half inches or less.
         (c)   If trees are not symmetrical, a minimum of two diameter measurements shall be taken and averaged to determine the caliper of the tree. The measurements shall be taken at the widest and narrowest points of the stump.
      (9)   Except as provided in division (B)(1), trees which are impacted by non-survival, disease, acts of God, and other injuries not related to development shall be replaced within 30 days in accordance with § 157.17, the replacement criteria of this section, and/or the approved site plan. Failure to make replacement within 30 days from receiving notification from the city for unhealthy and dead trees shall constitute a violation, and be regulated in accordance with § 157.17.
      (10)   Appeal. Decisions denying a tree removal permit, or rejecting a restoration or preservation plan may be appealed to the City Tree Board. A written appeal request shall be submitted to the city within 30 days from the permit denial. The decision of the City Tree Board may be appealed to the City Commission. A written appeal request shall be submitted to the Community Development Department 30 days from the date of the City Tree Board’s decision.
(Ord. 1601, passed 12-20-18; Am. Ord. 1634, passed 1-7-21)